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  1. I've read this forum for a little while but decided to join the conversation, as I don't have anyone in real life who fully understands. I started taking meds without doing much research or really understanding their appropriate usage, so I have to admit all of my medication-taking has been pretty haphazard, poorly managed, and minimally supervised. It was only within the past year or so that I have realized what a mess I've gotten myself into. I have struggled with depression & anxiety since childhood, but started with Zoloft in 2013 during an bad depressive episode that interfered with my ability to work. For a time, it really did help me to stabilize and get back to living a semi-normal life. I stayed on the same dosage until about 2015 when I hit another mental health low while struggling with alcohol abuse. My new psychiatrist put me on Lexapro 20mg, and later added Wellbutrin to try to counteract a side effect of the Lexapro (low sex drive) which had been causing some issues in my relationship. After about 6 months I had to discontinue the Wellbutrin because it seemed to increase my anxiety and cause panic attacks. I remained on the same dose of Lexapro until this past year -- around March of 2019. In early 2019 I went through some work and family difficulties and continued to battle alcohol abuse. I was very depressed from my circumstances, became self-destructive and quit taking medication cold turkey, almost as if to punish myself. I realize in hindsight this was not the right move, but after enough time passed, I felt like I was in too deep and should "stay the course" rather than try to go back on the meds. (I'd been wanting to quit for a long time, tired of side effects) Quitting the medication made everyday life shockingly painful & difficult -- I really wasn't prepared for how bad it would be. At first, I'd wake up every morning feeling terrible physical anxiety and panic, like my whole body and mind was screaming at me. Over time, that subsided somewhat, but I began to feel other symptoms: - mentally foggy - difficulty communicating + some stuttering, which made social situations painful and created more anxiety - lost all appetite, eating was very difficult and lost nearly 20 lbs - constant feeling of dread and anxiety without any cause - suicidal thoughts & self-harm - just generally feeling 'off', not like myself, like my personality was gone - inability to feel happiness, dead emotionally This period from March 2019 to now (November 2020) has been a long, slow process of trying to manage my mental health without medication. It has been very up and down, with small successes followed by further lows. It is only recently (around September) that I've begun to feel real momentum, and had some stretches of happiness, peace, and optimism. Over the past year I have often considered going back on medication & weaning properly, but my recent feelings of progress have motivated me to stay the course. This is my current approach: - quit alcohol & marijuana - daily meditation practice & deep breathing - daily mood tracking/journaling (to try to identify patterns & also properly acknowledge when I have successes or good stretches) - healthy diet - weight lifting - lots of sleep, naps if necessary - supplements (fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D) - therapy & support group - self-help workbooks (currently working on acceptance & commitment therapy) I am feeling more optimistic each month, but it's still hard to deal with setbacks. I'm hoping to join and learn from others' experiences managing without medication, as I don't have anyone in real life who understands either my desire to quit the meds or my difficulties doing so. My therapist and psychiatrists I've seen don't seem to take withdrawal seriously. Strangely, the only person who validated my experiences was my primary care provider, who told me frankly that I'd potentially struggle for years and most likely end up back on medication. I am hoping that doesn't turn out to be the case.
  2. Hello all, I am fairly new this forum. Im a 35 yo female living in Singapore, currently Im facing challenges on tapering off Lexapro. back story : I was prescribed a mixture of medicines in October 2017 for GAD. Back then I have never think of anything wrong with it as I trusted my psychiatrist (BIG horrible mistake). My mixture is listed below : amytriphiline 7 mg frixitas (alprazolam) 0.25 mg lexapro (cipralex) 10 mg I took it as prescribe without even knowing the dangers of coming off these devils. in April 2020, I was ready to be off this medicine because Im planning to get pregnant, I told my psychiatrist and She said I can just stop it CT. The next day I was feeling angry and easily agitated, and I feel so weak. I didnt even know that these all are withdrawal symptoms.. In early June 2020, I started to get really depressed and suicidal, and my anxiety skyrocketed. I cannot sleep anymore, I lost my appetite and I kept losing weight. I feel like dying, It was extremely horrible and I wouldnt even want to wish it on my worst enemy. I called 5 psychiatrists (the wellknown ones) and describef my symptoms, ALL of them said I was in relapse. They confidently told me it was not withdrawals. I trusted them and went back to my original psychiatrist and reinstate the whole thing. But only for 10 days I weaned off the amytripiline and alprazolam. I waited and listen to my body, I was unwell and I have this weird headache that is constantly bothering me. It was tightening my scalp. August 19, 2020 - I have commited myself to wean off the Lexapro. I was on 10 mg and my psychiatrist told me to taper off as below : 1 month : 10 mg to 7.5 mg 1 month : 7.5 mg to 5 mg 1 month : 5 mg to 2.5 mg 2.5 mg to 0 I googled and got alot of informations thus I found this site. so August 19, I cut 25% to 7,5 mg. So far I have experienced : -constant headache -sensitive to light -irritability -vertigo (this is the worst so far) -nausea -dizzyness Some days are okay but these 2 days when the vertigo hit I am practically bedbound. I read the 10% very slow taper method. But I am sad because it will take sooooo long to get rid of this poison as my time is ticking and I really want to have a baby. I am sad right now and I regretted the day I went to the psychiatrist and took their advice.. how could they do this to us.. My life is deteriorating now as I am feeling very down and confused. I dont want to struggle with these for many years as I grow older the chances of having a baby will be lessened.. please help me....
  3. This is really more like a side-effect from taking SSRIs rather than the symptom of WD itself, but some of those who are still on drugs and are getting ready for tapering may find it really helpful. Weight gain While on drugs my body weight went up by about 55-60 pounds. I was able to get rid of it thanks to lowering my carbs intake. What worked in your case? Interestingly, no amount of physical exercise was enough in my case to help lose weight - the whole endocrine system, metabolism, and what not, was so much out of whack, that even running three marathons a day wouldn't do a thing.
  4. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  5. Hello all. I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg for heart palpitations and blood pressure. Never struggled with anxiety but the cardiologist determined my heart rate issues were from anxiety and I even argued with him over it and his reply was that my heart was anxious. So I attempted the Lexapro as the palpitations were uncomfortable. 3 hours after taking the first dose I had my first ever panic attack. Kept having panic attacks upon waking and started having bad anxiety. Stopped the lexapro after a week. It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve been off the lexapro. The anxiety is bad still. It’s interfering with my work and life. I have moments I feel like I’m going to pass out and get really dizzy. I’m 26 and have been married for a year. I was loving my life and now I don’t feel happiness towards much of anything. My husband is out of town for work and so I’m living with my mother because I don’t even care enough to take care of my dog and cat whom I love more than anything. I loved my job and was saving for a house, now the idea of going to work makes me anxious and the idea of being off work makes me equally as anxious. How long until I get back to normal?
  6. LINK bubble-life-without-xanax-after-14-years Hello everybody, I found this site through google search after I entered 'escitalopram withdrawal' and I liked what I found here so much that I decided to create an account. What you are saying is very close to my experience compared to what doctors are saying which could basically be summed up as: you see you can't do without anti-depressants. I was in a rush so didn't write down my whole history with anti-depressants but mosty focussed on my current problem. To sum up I have been almost continuously on anti-depressants since 2000. I could say that after I stopped taking each of these my depression would return worse than before combined with other very painful and unbearable sensations which led me to start taking anti-depressants again just to put me out of my misery. First it was Prozac, then Zoloft. My doctor just told me: anti-depressants don't make you dependant and you can stop taking them just like that! Discontinuing Prozac didn't cause any problems: I was depressed all the time basically, even while taking it. But with Zoloft I was in a great period of my life, feeling very stable and after 2 weeks following discontinuoation in 2 steps (as advised by my doctor) I was suddenly and completely out of the blue hit by the worst depression ever which led my doctor to put me on Escitalopram (at that time I would eat crocodiles just to get some relief! My brain was thrown off the cliff as somebody here said. Then I started doubting my docor and started reading about anti-depressants from the perspective of users so I learnt that such abrupt discontinuation could actually explain my depression. I realised discountinuation had to be much more gradual but didn't know about the 10 % rule ;( So after taking Escitalopram 10 mg for 2 years I cut 10 mg into half and was on that half (5mg) for 6 months doing OK. After that I cut the half of the pill to get 1/4 and was taking it for 2 weeks when the pharmacist said there was shortage of Escitalopram so I was forced to discontinue. After a few days I started experiencing extreme irritability and out of body sensations. These symptoms gradually dissipated but the general sense of emotional instability and vulnerability deepened. Around 45 days later I experienced a strong panic attack and went back to 1/4. All along I've been on Xanax which I recently brought down to 2 times 0.25 mg. I'm not from UK and in my country they don't even have 5 mg tablets on the market, let alone liquid solution ;( But i saw somebody here wrote I could make the liquid from tablets myself. Since my doctor has no clue, I would very much appreciate your opinion: what to do now? 2 months after complete discontinuation. I went back to 1/4 5 days ago and already feel a certain relief. My plan is to see if I will stabilise on this and if not, go back to half that is 5 mg and then after I stabilise try 10 % discontinuation as you advise here. Thank you very much for being around and sharing your experiences because left to doctors and pharmacists, we are worse than being alone ;(
  7. Hi everyone, After many months of reading and gaining some hope and encouragement from the stories here I decided to join your great forum. Sorry, but this is a very long story. Im a 39 year old male from Australia and I have been taking ssri’s for GAD for the last 10 years. I started on Paxil 20mg for around 18 months and was switched to lexapro 10mg due to weight gain, sexual dysfunction and fatigue. Lexapro was a little better but I really didn’t feel like it was doing much apart from keeping the weight up and the motivation down. I am 6’2 and was always skinny, I never could bulk up. Paxil took me from 78kg and healthy to 100kg and always sweaty in around 12 months. I tried a few times to simply stop the meds but had no idea about withdrawal or tapering and always ended up reinstating due to awful side effects (rage, crying spells etc). The drs always said thats just how you are off the meds...... keep taking them for the rest of your life. They also upped my dosage a few times but I quickly went back to 10mg. In 2017 I felt lexapro wasn’t being effective so the dr straight swapped me to Valdoxan for a few weeks and I felt awful. They then straight swapped me to Prozac and around 4 days into taking that I woke in the middle of the night to terrible ringing in my ears. This was my first introduction to tinnitus. I freaked out and asked to be put back on lexapro. I reinstated at 10mg again and everything calmed down after about 7-8 weeks of hell. The tinnitus that was in both ears and the middle of my head reduced to a tiny amount only in my left ear. I now know this was likely my last chance at reinstatement working for me..... more on that soon. So another few years went past and the side effects of weight gain, heat intolerance, sexual dysfunction and the general feeling of “blah” were just too much for me to handle. I began a taper in January of 2019 and went from 10mg to 7.5mg for 4 weeks. I then went to 5mg for 4 weeks and finally 2.5mg for 4 weeks. I felt okay during the taper, my tinnitus was a little bit louder but not enough to bother me, I was more irritable and I had brain zaps. The real “fun” began around 12 weeks after the taper off the medication...... I had a panic attack and fell into one of the episodes that put me on meds in the first place. These were purely anxiety driven and I never felt depressed. I’ve had them since about 13 years of age and I always recovered from them and they lasted from 1 to 3 months usually. They would encompass intrusive thoughts, shakes and shivers, anxiety and panic only. So I decided to jump straight back on the lexapro 10mg thinking all these drs are right and I’m doomed to be on meds for the rest of my life. But something happened that didn’t happen before..... they didn’t work. After a few weeks I felt worse and my ears started to really scream, I had awful insomnia and a really bad eczema rash appeared on my chest and legs. I now know this as a severe reaction to the meds after too fast a taper and too fast of a reinstatement. If I had not jumped straight back on the meds I likely would have had to deal with wd symptoms only and not so many physical ones as well. So after 6 weeks of hell my dr upped my dose to 20mg and I waited another 5 weeks. That didn’t work either, just got worse. My dr referred me to a psychiatrist at this point and things got really bad. He upped my dose to 40mg lexapro, I stuck this out for another 5-6 weeks and it made me no better, actually worse. He then said ssri’s don’t seem to work for you now so let’s try Effexor. We cross tapered that with the lexapro over only a two week period and then all the way to 150mg of Effexor in only 3 weeks. I was desperate and wanted the pain and suffering to just stop. I did consider suicide a lot during this period and I had never been like this before when taking medication. My beautiful partner kept me here with her love and grace. I stuck with the Effexor for 7 weeks and it was just hell, dizziness, insomnia and mini seizure type things were a daily occurrence. I was couch bound and I still had tinnitus screaming away every day. He wanted to up the dose more but by this stage I knew that my body was not accepting any of these meds, I even said to him I think I am having a reaction to these meds. His answer was always that they just make you feel worse before better and that we can keep upping the dose...... That was the last time I saw him, I went back to my GP and asked to try Zoloft in a last ditch attempt to gain some stability and sanity. She cross tapered me to Zoloft and it seemed to calm things down a tiny bit but I was still so, so sick. I made it up to 100mg and was on Zoloft for 3 months before massive amounts of diarrhoea hit me (colitis) plus I was still struggling with SI, tinnitus and now bad depression for the first time in my life. All the fun stuff that comes along with bad reactions to these meds. My Dr CT’d me off the Zoloft and started me on Remeron 30mg..... this one was ok for my sleep issues but made me irritable as hell and didn’t have any effect on the SI, depression and tinnitus. I lasted 6 weeks on it before breaking down again and seeing the Dr. She mentioned Paxil...... like I said, I was desperate and since it worked 10 years ago maybe it would pull me out of this living hell I was in. Since the first episode after WD in June of 2019 and the living hell my life has been, I started Paxil 20mg in April 2020..... this lasted all of 12 weeks and I CT’d the Paxil in July 2020 due to all the above still happening. I happened to come across the SA website in June this year After desperately searching for answers. I’ve read and learnt a lot from everyone and now understand what has happened to me the last 12 months. How I should have tapered waaayyyy slower, how I should have reinstated waaayyy slower and how screwed up our medical system and the makers of these drugs are. I have been med free for 9 weeks and even though I still have loud tinnitus, depression and a host of other Awful symptoms, I have improved more then any time I was on meds. I’m bloody scared of what’s ahead but I will NEVER touch another psych med again in my life. I assume reinstatement is beyond my body now after what it has endured. I hope to be able to vent a little here on my bad days and keep reading the encouraging stories of success whilst pushing on with my life and the healing process. Thanks for taking the time to read my book.... 😂 And thanks to the creators of such a great site.
  8. Hello everybody. I was on lexapro 20mg for 20 months due to a high stress situation. after months of therapy for stress management I decided to come off lexapro as I felt I had dealt with the issues. Both my therapist and doctor came up with a 6 week taper method . I am now 6 1/2 months off and I am suffering dearly with severe anxiety , fear , depression , and a very odd depersonalized state , plus other symptoms. I know now I tapered way too fast and I am very much past the window for reinstatement. I've had to quit work and can barely function at all. I have noticed that everyday seems like it's getting worse. I used to get windows that were half of a day long , but those have stopped two weeks ago. I'm looking for hope and encouragement as I have a little girl who needs her daddy to be alive. I fear that I'm going to die or become severely disabled for EVER. I'm trying to accept that this will take a very long time to heal from , but I am very very scared that I'll never be the same. I don't take any other drugs , but I do use an ecig with only 1 mg of nicotine. which is about 5% of a regular cigarette. Is it normal to get worse after 6 months off ? Will it get even more worse later ? Does it reach a peak and then get better ? I am very grateful for this site. I only wish I found it before I chose to come off.
  9. Hi, I found this site a couple of weeks ago and have slowly been starting to wonder if what I’ve been going through the past 18 months is related to SSRI withdrawal. I managed to successfully withdraw from Lexapro at the end of 2010, after over 13 years of AD use. I had various fluctuating symptoms for a couple of months, but then apart from constant ringing in my ears and a return of occasional anxiety, I seemed to be ok. I was studying to be a chi-ball instructor, was exercising regularly, was eating healthy and was generally quite happy. After getting off Lexapro, I had been diagnosed with adult ADD and been put on medication for that. It worked well for a couple of weeks and seemed to completely cure what remained of my anxiety, but then I started to get extreme restlessness, OCD like symptoms, irritability and an increase in my sensitivity, to sounds and lights. I assumed it was a bad reaction to the stimulant medication. My life has been a confusing nightmare since the end of 2010 really, but until I found this site a couple of weeks ago, it really didn’t occur to me that my ongoing problems were being caused by a medication I stopped taking over 2 years ago. I’ve had a lot of stress in my life starting from an early age and have always been sensitive and anxious. There has been some violent crime and sexual abuse, but I seemed to be ok until I got myself into a psychologically abusive marriage. That’s when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and started on Zoloft. For a couple of years it took the edge off my anxiety, but I never thought I had depression, but the Zoloft just made me feel generally numb, so I endured my marriage, for several more years until it became unbearable, tried to communicate with my ex-husband so that things would improve, but he wasn’t interested in change, he was already in his next relationship and had been for a while, I didn’t know that at the time though. Then I went through about 4 years of extremely frightening separation/divorce and ongoing court proceedings. . There were other extremely stressful things I’ve had to deal with over the last 10 years, but I’m not going to go into details. I have been thinking that what I’m going through is a combination of long term stress, anxiety/depression, a ‘dark night of the soul’, menopause and/or some kind of spiritual transformation like kundalini, because I have engaged in various spiritual practises through my life. At times its felt like my CNS is completely burned out or that I have some kind of serious hormonal imbalance, but I gave up trusting the medical profession, including psychologists after years of not being able to get any help from any of them and only ending up feeling worse and that its all my fault for not trying hard enough. I’ve had lots therapy, counselling and done various support groups over the last 15 years, nothing has been any significant help. I went back to college to study psychology and started a business, but that all fell apart when the marital abuse became worse and the divorce proceedings began. Since finding this site, I’ve stopped taking all psychotropic medication, realizing that anything which effects my brain is having an exaggerated negative effect on my recovery. For a long time I’ve noticed that even small amounts of caffeine, half a glass of wine or even an anti-histamine will have a very bad effect on me, but I was thinking it was my imagination. I can’t even eat chocolate any more without suffering the next day. I’m exhausted all the time, but it’s a weird kind of fatigue, its like a combination mental/emotional tiredness, not like anything I’ve ever felt before. I spend most of my time at home, on the internet on my bed, just doing the things I need to do to take care of myself and my teenage daughter. Its very difficult just getting out to buy a few groceries, but when I do go out, I function perfectly in a kind of dissociated way, like I’m not even in my own body, I’m watching myself like from a distance, wondering who it is that’s behaving so ‘normally’ when I’m feeling so awful. Waves of negative emotions seem to get triggered by almost everything around me and almost every thought, I try not to think about things or do much of anything so I can avoid the emotional pain that thoughts or experiences bring, its like a kind of forced meditation. This symptom was at its worst from November 2011 – August 2012, but its not as bad now, seems to be settling down, I think its improved by about 50%. Please would someone take a look at the details in my signature and give me an opinion if protracted anti-depressant withdrawal might be a factor in my current health problems which include: Waking at 5am with racing thoughts Feeling like I haven’t slept at all Nausea, shaking, dizziness, body pressure, muscle twitches Waves of negative emotion Hot/cold flashes, sweating Constant ringing in my ears Sensitive to sound, light and smells Can’t watch TV or listen to the radio because its too stimulating Most things are too stimulating now, including being around other people too long Loss of appetite and loss of weight Hair falling out Agoraphobia, mostly during the day, I’m able to go out easier late afternoon towards evening Memory problems and mental confusion Loss of confidence. Loss of interest in doing anything or going anywhere Can’t get any pleasure out of things any more Loss of hope I needed to put more detail in my signature, but that’s all that would fit. From about 2006 – 2008 I was also taking duramine (a prescription stimulant weight loss med) to try and lose all the weight I’d put on from being on SSRI meds. Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try and provide a clear picture of my situation. Thank you Petu
  10. hello! I am a 40yr old mom of 1 and wife. I have a successful home based business and have struggled for over a year now with what I knew was withdrawl or at least had a suspicion. now that I have found you all my suspicions feel more confirmed. 4 yrs ago I was misdiagnosed as having a brain tumor. the dr who diagnosed me said "take 4 ativan a day and 2 klonopin 30minutes before bed and we will get you into a neurologist as soon as we can". I sat for 2 months drugged on benzos with the constant fear that I was going to leave my now 5yr old son and husband bc that's where your brain goes when you have been told you have "something in your brain". I developed panic attacks and eventually chest pain. the neurologist told me they couldnt find what the original doc found but "at best I had MS". my new gp said he thought I could use something to help the anxiety and he believed the physical symptoms were anxiety. began taking 25mg of zoloft and within 2 weeks my symptoms resolved (chest pains and panic attacks at night) I honestly thought these drugs were a God send. I did a dietary elimination on my own bc I did not accept what the drs were telling me. they had jo evidence, but were merely guessing. the stroke like symtpoms I was having that lead them to the scans and tumor diagnosis disappeared after I eliminated all gluten. it took a while for the inflammation to go away in my body but eventually the weird symptoms stopped. 1.5 yrs ago in spring of 2017 I decided to start weaning myself off of 25mg zoloft. by August 1st i took my last pill. i had tummy pains and diarrhea but other than that and a little shakiness I was fine. then I became irritable and even began thinking I had fallen out of love with my soulmate. i left a message with the nurse at my gps office and asked my doc if this could be withdrawl. the only response he gave me was to have his nurse call me back and let me know they have called in Cymbalta. I hung up the phone absolutely disgusted and felt so alone and unheard. right around November 2017 a ton of stressors came crashing in on me and i began having terrifying symptoms that I had never experienced even back when I first started on ssris. panic attacks with terrifying intrusive thoughts. the kind a mother thinks will get her child taken from her. against my better judgement but honestly i didnt know if i could trust my judgement, i tried 10mg of prozac and had a horrible reaction and never took it again. my doctor told me this was all proof I would have to be on them forever because I was "just wired differently". I argued with him bc these thoughts were constant and I had never experienced them before in my whole life. he put me back on zoloft and we increased the dose. that's when the thoughts of just wanting to die came on. I checked myself into a crisis unit for 72hrs. one psychiatrist told me 50mg was too much and reduced me but when the other psychiatrist there came on duty he increased it to 100mg, added 25mg lamictal (even though I am not bipolar) and abilify. I refused the upped dose of zoloft and took the others. within 30minutes I was puking uncontrollably. the nurse refused to give me anymore and told the dr those were wrong for me. she agreed with the first doc. when I refused the second dose that the dr insisted on he emergency detained me for a week due to in compliance. after i came home i came off of lamictal right away and never took the abilify again. I tried zoloft 50mg for a while but it never really worked again. that's when I bega. noticing that these deep depressive symptoms and anxiety were coming 2 weeks before my period and then would temporarily disappear or at worst ease up. a holistic doc told me over the phone that the antidepressant combined with the mirena IUD had thrown my body into a spiral. i came off of zoloft onto viibryd. it was horribly expensive and I swear I thought I was having seizures my brain felt like it was shaking. I requested to try something else. I had a new psych and she put me on lexapro 10 but moved me to 20 really fast. I began having near constant suicidal thoughts. my gyno had me track my symptoms and diagnosed me with PMDD. that was Sept 2018. she also put me on progesterone. no doc agrees I should go off of lexapro. my psych told me the lexapro was working fine but she wanted to add depakote. again every counselor I have talked to has said I meet zero criteria for bipolar disorder. she never had my chart with her when she talked to me. I only saw her for 3 months but she kept trying to put me on a med that I had an allergic reaction to. she didnt care and i knew it. my husband fired her. he's my hero. my rock. long story I know. i wish i had known about you all back when I was first having wd from zoloft. I would never have gone back down that horrible road. I cant help but think I would be healed by now. since September I have weaned from 20mg to 10mg. I held there for November and December. yes I know about the 10% taper recommendations. I have things that are helping me and I am not so naive to think I wont have more wd issues. I have no began my taper again. my husband and I are much more educated and equipped. pray for me and wish me luck. I'm glad to be a part of our healing community here ❤
  11. Hi guys! Its been almost 7 months since I ct Lexapro, having only used it in 1 month om 5 mg. Its only now for the last weeks that the zaps, vertigo, flu-sympthoms and burning are starting, and becoming more severe by each day.. And I have a constant low fever since one month. (No virus.) Im burning all over my body, not sensitive to touch really.. Just feels like im on fire. And feels like breathing.. Sulfur. Not a refluxprob. (Also kinda blushing in face) All worse in my belly. Having attacks where it kinda knocks me with burning nerves all over and then goes back to constant medium-burning.. My cold sheets in bed is a blessing to naked skin! Also, notice aches and getting weaker in all my muscles.. 😕 Im so afraid! Whats going on! Have someone felt like this?
  12. Moderator Note: link to Moonpie's benzo thread - Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering My name is Moonpie. I feel so blessed to have found this site. I was put on Ativan and BuSpar and Lexapro, one at a time for a medication thyroid mess up. For eight months my thyroid was going crazy in my anxiety was off the charts. It normalized in March and I am trying to take her off the Ativan. I'm extremely sensitive to it. I just realized I have been doing a 5 per cent reduction instead of 10 and I have still had withdrawl symptoms! I am using a file and a jeweler scale. My taper started at .069 in weight and I am down to .035 in all three doses. But I think I took a little too much off last time and for the past week I've had panic anxiety nausea and depression. I am holding this reduction on the third dose for 3 weeks now as strong symptoms started the end of last week and continue. I had labs done to see if it was thyroid and am waiting on results. My 1st question is, should I be tapering on only one dose until it goes to zero instead of doing 1 every two weeks. Because if I continue this way I will go off of all of them at the same time. I appreciate any help. Have really been discouraged and frightened With this past symptoms
  13. HoldingOnToHope

    HoldingOnToHope: introduction

    Hi. I started Lexapro roughly 15 years ago, 20mg, for anxiety/panic attacks. I did fine on it (although I experience emotional numbness). Toward the beginning of this year, the Lexapro seemed to stop being effective/stopped working, as I was experiencing some depression. The psychiatrist (assistant) added Abilify toward the end of May. It didn't seem to work, so I was advised to stop it at end of June. He then told me to stop my Lexapro all together and start Cymbalta 30mg immediately. I listened and did this on 7/4/2020. I plummeted into withdrawal hell (unable to function/bedridden) On 7/16/20, he upped the dose to 60mg. The withdrawal hell continued. On 8/3/2020, the doctor agreed that I should restart my Lexapro 20mg, and told me to immediately stop the Cymbalta. I did. Withdrawal continued. On 8/19/2020, Wellbutrin (generic), 150mg was added. Started seeing different psychiatrist's office. On 8/29/2020, Rexulti 0.5mg was added, and Wellbutrin name brand was prescribed. I was able to gain some energy, but my anxiety went through the roof, along with heart palpitations. On 9/9/20 Rexulti was stopped. On 9/24/2020, Lexapro upped to 30mg. On 9/27/2020, Wellbutrin stopped. Currently, I am having debilitating migraines headaches every day, depression/feeling overwhelmed (especially in the morning - including suicidal thoughts never had before), nausea, severe brain fog/forgetfulness, fatigue, irritability, crying, and a general feeling of sickness. I started taking a multivitamin, B vitamin pill, iron/folic acid (low on iron), magnesium and Omega fish oil. Although everything is hard to do, I have managed to take care of my young son (ie. meals, drop off and pick up from school, etc.) I am unable to work at the moment, but I am expected back soon. My goal is to get off all antidepressants now, but I am struggling, so I am thinking that I need to stabilize before weaning off of Lexapro (that I just upped, ugh). I would really appreciate any help and/or guidance, as I feel like I'm going crazy and feel defeated ... I really wish that I found this site sooner. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. 2005 - Lexapro 20mg for anxiety/panic attacks End of June 2020 – started Abilify 15mg 7/4/2020 – Stopped Lexapro and started 30mg Cymbalta 7/16/2020 – Increased Cymbalta to 60mg 8/3/2020 – Restarted Lexapro 20mg and stopped Cymbalta 60mg 8/19/2020 – Started Wellbutrin XL 150mg – generic 8/29/2020 – switched to Name brand Wellbutrin, same dose 8/29/2020 – started Rexulti 0.5mg 9/9/2020 – stopped Rexulti 9/24/2020 - Lexapro increased to 30mg 9/27/2020 - Wellbutrin stopped
  14. I was on Klonopin for 5 plus years as an add-on to Lexapro that I have taken for two decades. I did a long taper to get off of Klonopin a year ago and decided to taper off of Lexapro last month. Unfortunately, I went from 10 to 5 mg and after about 10 days began feeling really bad. I went back up to 10 mg but the damage was done and now I am trying desperately to stabilize. Should I be on a slightly lower dose or stay at 10 mg to get back to feeling better?
  15. When I look back on some of the 'major life decisions' I made while I was 'spellbound' by all those psych drugs, I am filled with regret and even shame. Anyone else relate to this? These tides rush in, frequently in the mornings, and just crush me against the rocky shore. For example, I was in a management role at my last company and essentially demoted myself. I was so sick and frankly out of my mind that I thought it was the 'right' thing to do. The new role turned out to be a complete disaster that eventually drove me out of the company. I left on my own terms but I now wonder if I could have found a way to stay. I blame myself for not 'seeing' the complexity of executing a job move like that. I was so numb and disoriented by the drugs and WDs I just couldn't see anything clearly. Now looking back I wonder if I should have been more honest with the people I worked with about what I was going through. At the time, I didn't fully understand how powerful those drugs were and what havoc WDs cause on our interior lives. I thought I was just 'defective' and that it was 'all my fault' so I did the best I could and never told anyone what I was struggling with. Another example is while in the fog of ADs, we built a house that we really couldn't afford. My 'normal' alert systems were completely offline due to the drugs. If I had been in my right mind, I would have been able to feel the 'warning' signs like anxiety and such that could have informed my wisdom that 'maybe this ani't such a great idea' or 'slow down and think about this' but it was like I was mesmerized and totally fixated on accomplishing the task. I've not had suicidal thoughts that all the warnings talk about but I think these things were similarly spellbinding. Over so many years of those drugs, I didn't realize that I had become a different person. That person did a lot of things that I still can't understand...and yet wasn't that 'me'? If not, who the heck was it? Part of what makes this journey off of drugs so hard is it can feel so 'unique' and lonely... Any and all thoughts welcome. Thanks.
  16. Hello- as my topic title shows, I have been on anti-depressants for 24 years (20mgs Lexepro, 175 mgs Wellbutrin). It is hard to face. After the birth of my first son, I began having acute anxiety. When I told my gynecologist he told me it was common after giving birth because of hormonal changes. In such cases, he recommends about six months of medication to help with the symptoms and recommended a psychiatrist that he works with for patients such as me. I'm sure none of you are surprised to know that, as is all too common, I never got off the drugs for very long. Each time withdrawel symptoms were interpreted as my illness returning. My mother suffered from anxiety and depression all her sad life, so it wasn't hard to believe that I was ill. Yet, I still tried a few times to stop the drugs. Interestingly, once it became clear how difficult it was to get off the drugs, I knew with certainty that I needed to stop taking them. I Thought I would put if off until I was retired, so I would have less stress, etc. to deal with the WD, but when I learned about the10% taper it gave me hope that I can be AD free by my 60th birthday! I will start with the Lexepro. Getting myself a scale and using a spreadsheet to calculate the decreases. I'm getting my yoga and walking on, and continuing meditation for success! I'm so glad to have this site for reference, information and support!
  17. Long story short, I been on and off antidepressants since I was 15, I’m 32 now. The last 2 times I have started back on have been the worse I have felt in my life. Depression, Anxiety, insomnia have been unbearable. I’ve had mood swings where I’m very depressed in the mornings but as the day goes on I’m fairly better, more so by the evenings. Iv been paroniod and obsessing that I’m “bipolar”. I’m starting to feel some normalcy after about 4 weeks back on the Lexapro but still not stable. After these last 2 experiences with Lexapro, I don’t trust these meds at all anymore. But at the same time, I can’t get out of my head that I’m gonna experience some bipolar episodes or loose it without it. I hope to be off these meds one day.
  18. Hello and welcome to my hell. Lexapro 2 years along with heavy marijuana use, CT ... Fine for 5 months then all hell broke loose. April 2019 Took 1 10mg lexapro and woke up vomiting and diahrea. Cut back to 5mg for 2 days but couldnt move and also had the flu. Dr. Says try again when flu gets better. May 2019 took 2.5mg lexapro and awoke two hrs later7 in sheer panic and full blown akathesia. No good. Ended up in mental hospital and put on 10 mg celexa. After 5 days thrown back into full blown akathesia. No good so stopped and got worse. Second hospital stay now on lithium and zyprexa which lasted less than a week. 3 weeks later back in another mental hospital. Third time not the charm .. Put on Zoloft 25 and 3 days later up to 50. Did okay for 4 weeks then got really ill, could not get out of bed. Tapered off over 2 weeks. That was 3 weeks ago from today (Sept 1 2019). Felt pretty good first week, slowly declining 2nd week and now I am in a lot of body pain, sweats, tingles, head pressure, si, inner restlessness, trouble sleeping, crying spells, anger, and at times just ok. Supplements are Lions Mane, l theanine, B vits, methyl b12 and folinic acid since I am a mthfr! Vit D. Omega's and mag.
  19. So let me get into this..always had anxiety and depression my whole life.. I spent year sick to my stomach then started to get though it.. the 2013 hit.. a dentist ruined my life.. I ended up with nerve damage in my face.. trigeminal neuropathy.. is was put on lexipro 10 mgs.. and trileptal and anticonvulsant.things started to settle down and I had a pretty happy 4 yrs.. i started smoking cannabis and the combo keep my pain down but at the time I didn’t know it.. i weaned off the trileptal cause it made me sick as hell and things were ok compared to the hell I went through for 2 yrs.. but I still suffered for anxiety but I just wasn’t in pain.. so.. fast forward 4 yrs.. I thought hey I just want to come off my antidepressant.. my dr at the time said.. your on a low dose.. just cut the pill in half for 3 days then stop.. I continued to smoke cannabis and got thru the brain zaps then started feeling good after about 2 months.. the I started getting pain on my left side and thought it was a tooth.. then the pain or maybe parasethsia exploded over the whole front on my face..had a root canal and that didn’t help. smoking pot started causing anxiety so my dr put me back on lexipro thinking that would help. And started gabapentine for nerve pain.. that helped for 7 months..then put me on Ativan because I wasn’t sleeping and I started smoking cannabis again.. so I thought the pain was caused by my root canals.. got those pulled.. slowly weaned off my lexipro but would be terrible parastesia across my face at night.. long story shorter . When I went off the cannabis and lexipro I would shake at night. I tapered myself to fast.. I have burning in my jaw and face and am having a hard time.. I’m on a low dose of trileptal 75 mg twice a day and it allows me to sleep a few hours.. I’m in a rough spot.. I have nerve damage in my face that is typically treated with antidepressant and anticonvulsants but I have done a great deal of investigation and these drugs are bad.. the research is there.. I think my brain has been harmed by them and by my poor decision making as well.. When I’m off the drugs I have my mind clear and I like that.. it hasn’t been clear for a long time.. I didn’t take my trileptal yesterday and I felt alive but had more pain.. could the emergence of my pain in my face be a result of the medication.. do I trust the people at Johns Hopkins.. I have much doubt and I fear for my life.. I have made too many mistakes on my own... insight would be very useful.. thank you.. in hindsight being as sensitive as I am I wish I had never touched a drug in my life and taken care of the mind god blessed me with.. I think I really screwed up.. I see a therapist mon..
  20. Hi, New here. Have been reading so much here that both worries me but also gives me hope. I was put on Lexapro 12 years ago and was never advised to stop taking it. So, would be on indefinitely if I didn't research it. I was tired of the apathy, the sleepiness, the weight gain (50 pounds within the first two years!). Trying to begin a healthier, fresh start with better diet and exercise, meditation, yoga to feel good but wanted rid of the SSRI effects. Was on 5mg and have weaned down to 2.5mg over a month with plans to now taper even more slowly for the rest. Have had lots of side effects but have mostly been able to function until today. Hoping for feedback as to whether this is anything anyone else experienced but I have all over shakiness and a sensation of all over muscle weakness (I mean typing this is even tough). Feel sleepy but the sensation of muscle weakness is worrying me. It's not one sided and I can get up and function (I'm also an RN so if severe I'd go seek treatment) but it's all over, sort of like a low blood sugar effect but I have eaten. Anyone else? Not finding much listed about this effect. Thank you!
  21. I was on 40 mgs Lexapro. started on 20 mgs then increased over 5 years. Have been on various antidepressants for over 20 years. Seeing a Homeopath and trialing remedies. Told by Psychiatrist reduce 20 mgs a week. Frightened by all withdrawal horror stories. Have to work to pay mortgage. Suffering from discontinuation Syndrome. -suicidal thoughts - brain fog - anxiety - panic attacks -stomach upsets - debilitating lack of concentration - constant fear of living My family are supporting me Dont want to go back on meds but scared this may continue for years. Any advice welcome.
  22. Hello everyone, I started taking Lexapro 5 mg back at March 1st until September 11th. During the last month before I quit the medication, I started getting stomach issues, malaise, fatigue issues. I was also diagnosed with thrombocytopenia (low platelet disorder). With all these issues, I told my psych that I was getting these bad side effects, he told me I could quit or taper off in 1-2 weeks. Since the side effects were getting too much, I decided to withdraw. Initially for the first two days, I was feeling good, just had to go pee a lot. However, for the next 8 days, I was dealing with bloating and stomach pain. It went away though, and then I had a clean window of 10 days where I felt perfectly normal. However, I started to feel bad in my stomach again, and it seemed to coincide with having a irregular sleep schedule (days where I would range from 3 to 6 hours of sleep). I also started noticing I was getting more gas and belching more than usual, but it didn't really bother me. On October 5th, I noticed I started getting major sinus issues and had to clear my throat many times. By October 9th, I started to get major anxiety, which culminated in insomnia for the weekend. On October 11th, I noticed that I started to taste acid in my saliva. On October 12th, I started taking Protonix due to the suspected gastritis and acid reflux. Two days later, I was getting bad heartburns two consecutive days in a row. Even though I started eating less, having a non acidic diet, and changing my habits, the stomach issues never went away and I still would be getting reflux. I started seeing a chiropractor on October 20th and he noted that my entire left side of my body was tense, and he proceeded to adjust parts of it including my stomach, which has been helpful. He also taught me ways to relax my stomach. I was also advised by a nutritionist coach to start having a diet with no wheat, no processed grains diet on October 21st. While the diet has worked to eliminate the reflux, I noticed that my insomnia and bad anxiety came back on October 23rd and 24th (maybe due to lesser carbs?) However the anxiety lessened on the 25th when I ingested a bit more carbs. I was also able to sleep more as I took a 5 mg melatonin supplement with 5 mg GABA and 50 mg L-Theanine. I was able to sleep from 9:40 PM to 2:00 AM, and fell back asleep around probably 2:30 to 5:00 PM.
  23. I tapered off Lexapro 20mg over the course of a few months with the last dose in June 2020. I started getting constipated shortly thereafter (only other time I had constipation was after weaning off for a couple years in 2011). I also started experiencing brain fog, irritability, and unintended weight loss over the course of 8 months. this year I was diagnosed with Sibo and have been treating it for months. Slow motility is a cause of Sibo and I’ve read other stories of people getting sibo after withdrawing from an Ssri also. The Sibo has brought my anxiety back with a vengeance (I’m also obsessive compulsive) and it’s been miserable. I’d like to find out from others: 1. Does anyone know why getting off lexapro would affect digestion/motility? Could it be the serotonin being taken out? 2. Will it ever go back to homeostasis or is my motility ruined? 3. For those who’ve experienced this, Is it possible to get rid of sibo and keep it gone without having to go back on the antidepressant? Im being encouraged to go back on by several doctors including my psychiatrist and GI doctor as my anxiety is worse than it’s ever been. I have honestly been considering it but I don’t want to go through all of this again when I try to taper off again. Would appreciate any insight!!
  24. Hi. I was on Lexapro for 20 years, 20 mgs at the end. I went off pretty much cold turkey about 6 weeks ago - tapered for about two weeks to try other meds. Didn't know about this site or the implications. Did not really go forward with other meds. Using small doses of Mirtazapine to sleep. Went on Lexapro 20 years ago for Anxiety. Depression kicked in a year ago and has gotten much worse. Hence, time for a change from the Lexapro. Was told it "pooped out." Since going off, Anxiety is back. Also dizzy and nausea. Symptoms not as bad as I have read about from others, but I don't want to go back to the Anxiety for sure. Very hard to explain some of the withdrawal effects, but not pleasant. Don't know what I should be doing at this point. I would like to try and reinstate. The Anxiety was well dealt with on the Lexapro. Can I reinstate parts of the 20 mg tabs with a pill splitter? Or should I ask for a low dose Rx? Can I reinstate after 6 weeks? Should I Reinstate? I would reinstate to go back on, not to taper off. I stopped at the worst point of the depression. Completely upside down logic. I wish I just stayed on.
  25. Hi. I am sheepish to share, because I am starting a process which makes me vulnerable. I have been on SSRI's since the age of 12. fluoxetine (prozac)from 12-19, and escitalopram (lexapro) from 19-current. I am in week 2 of my tapering process and decided I need a support group. I started at 20mg of lexapro and am down to 15 . I took my last 20mg dose at 6am october 14. I am trying to consume any and ALL articles, videos, stories, words of encouragement ; and tips and tricks on tapering/ withdrawal coping. I am finding immense solace in distracting myself with other peoples stories and success . I have been documenting my process as so to have record of it and to swap stories with fellow patients. Please take a moment to share any tips or tricks on sleeping during withdrawal , as I am having great trouble with this especially. I have attached my week 1 update and hope you can link me with any of your vlogs, blogs or stories so I don't have to feel as alone in this as i currently do. Thank you so much for your time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFVKDNUg4Mo&t=954s
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